Allow me to introduce you to this recipe. We go way back. I first stumbled upon it when browsing The Spice House’s website (which is owned by Bill Penzey’s sister. They’re just a whole family chock full of spice tycoons, I tell ya). At the time, St. Patrick’s Day was right around the corner. I’m not a huge fan of corned beef, unless it’s in hash form. The recipe called for Guinness to be used, so I though it would be a festive alternative to the traditional corned beef and cabbage. I was right, it was a huge hit. I went out with some girlfriends that evening, and when I returned…it had all been consumed by the husband. And make no mistakes folks, it was a large roast.
Needless to say, it since became my standard pot roast recipe. So much more flavor that your standard Crock-Pot variety pot roast. Not only that, but I feel like it’s been improved upon by trying out different beers. I had heard wonderful things about coffee-braised pot roasts. So, I thought it would be very interesting to combine the two. Again, boy was I right!
We have 2 oh-so-wonderful local breweries in my area (hey – we don’t have much, but we’ve got good beer by God!). Both happen to make wonderful, rich dark stouts that use coffee in the brewing process. The first is Dogfish Head’s Chicory Stout. If you haven’t heard about DogFish, and like beer, do yourself a favor and try something out. You can find them nationwide, if you look hard enough. The second is Evolution Brewing Company’s Rise Up Stout. “Evo” started up about a year or so ago, right here on the Eastern Shore, and have been putting out wonderful craft beers. Chances are if you don’t live in the Chesapeake area, you won’t find them. But, by all means, get out there and explore the beer coolers at your local stores. Lots of great microbreweries are springing up all over the place. I’m sure you could find something near you that is equally as wonderful!
I don’t list potatoes in the recipe, but feel free to add them in with the rest of the other veggies. I usually use red potatoes that I’ve halved. However, it’s wonderful with mashed potatoes too. You want as much of the gravy as you can get, folks. Enjoy this recipe, I promise you that you won’t miss that corned beef a bit!
Pot Roast with Stout Gravy
1 3-4 pound chuck roast
2 cups beef broth
16 oz of dark-colored stout
2 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 2″ pieces
1 small head of cabbage, cut into wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp cornstarch
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Season beef generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Place roast in pan, and sear well on both sides until nice and brown. Remove roast to plate and set aside. Add onions to the dutch oven and cook, stirring often, until the onions are starting to brown on the outsides. About 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the beef stock to the pan, then slide the beef into the stock. Cover, and cook for 1 hour.
Reduce oven temperature to 350. Remove the roast from the oven, add the stout, re-cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove roast again, add the vegetables and re-cover. Cook for an additional 45 minutes.
To make the gravy, remove the roast (and, it will be falling apart!) and place on a platter. Then, remove the various vegetables and arrange them on the platter as well. Cover it with aluminum foil to keep warm while you make the gravy. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the braising liquid into a medium saucepan. Combine the cornstarch and the cold water in a small dish, then add to the gravy. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the cornstarch works it’s magic and the gravy thickens.
You can try to slice the pot roast, but I just like to use two forks to pull it apart into large chunks. Whatever floats your boat, though!
Source: adapted from The Spice House